Programming Logic and Design, 8e
Suppose that you are hired by a clinic to match a file of patient office visits with
patient master records to print various reports. While working with the confidential
data, you notice the name of a friend’s fiancé. Should you tell your friend that the
fiancé is seeking medical treatment? Does the type of treatment affect your answer?
Student opinions will vary. Some will believe that they are required
to keep all data confidential. Others will say loyalty to a friend
overrides any employer or legal requirements. Some might take the
type of treatment into account. For example, a student might
disclose the presence of a sexually transmitted disease but not one
that is more benign such as stomach flu. Some students might
consider that the medical diagnosis could be in error and any
disclosure might cause unnecessary suffering. Others might
consider that the record is not actually that of the fiancé, but the
record of someone with a similar name.